Final Ringling Bros. show, humble beginnings in McGregor - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Final Ringling Bros. show, humble beginnings in McGregor

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It is the end of an era.

After 146 years, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus performs their last show.

The world renowned circus started with humble beginnings in the town of McGregor. In the late 1800s, five of the Ringling brothers were inspired to start their own show, after winning tickets to a circus act.

Some people in town have a lot of pride in that history. "After the circus left town, they began their own small circus. They had a goat, who walked on its front feet and the boys did acrobatic tricks, and stayed with it," said John Malcom, owner of Rivertown Fine Books.

The show got larger and larger, traveling all over. But last year, the circus stopped using elephants in their shows, because of animal rights protests.

The CEO says it led to fewer ticket sales.

"People I think, will remember the circus, but also there are modern circuses that owe a huge debt to the Ringlings' and always will -- the Cirque Du Soleil, many of them. It's just that business has changed such that the big ol' tent circus and mile long train can't make it anymore," Malcom said.

Th final performance is in New York. For more information, visit:

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